Monday, July 27, 2015

Pioneer Day Again

I came across a couple of quotes that I wanted to record. This first one is from Elder Dallin H. Oaks. (The entire talk is worth reading.)

"It is not enough to study or reenact the accomplishments of our pioneers. We need to identify the great, eternal principles they applied to achieve all they achieved for our benefit and then apply those principles to the challenges of our day. In that way we honor their pioneering efforts, and we also reaffirm our heritage and strengthen its capacity to bless our own posterity and “those millions of our Heavenly Father’s children who have yet to hear and accept the gospel of Jesus Christ.”2 We are all pioneers in doing so."
The other comes from the autobiography of Sarah DeArmon Pea Rich, the wife of Charles C. Rich, and the sister-in-law to John President Porter, my great-great-great-grandfather. Sarah and John (with their respective families) were in the same pioneer company of 1847 - The Charles C. Rich Company. Once again, you can read her entire account of trail life here, but I just wanted to remember the following portions [spelling and punctuation modernized]:

"O, what a time we all had crossing the plains from Nauvoo to Salt Lake City!"

"It truly was a dangerous trip and had we not been convinced by the power of the Lord to know that we were preparing to help lay the foundation for the building up of the kingdom of our Heavenly Father on this earth, according to his holy commandment to his prophet Joseph Smith, we never could have undertaken such a journey."

"We realized that we must be humble and prayerful and put our trust in the Lord, and it was through his mercy and kind care that saved the people on this dangerous journey. For we prayed to the Lord in faith and he answered our prayers, for he will hear those that trust in him and obey his laws as given through his prophets."

"My young readers, let me beg of you to lay aside all folly and foolishness and humble yourselves before the Lord and seek a knowledge of this, the work of the Lord in this the latter day, and be prepared to help in this great work."

I would encourage my children and grandchildren to follow her counsel!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Happy Pioneer Day!

This morning I was reading in Deuteronomy where Moses relates the history of his people to them just before they enter the promised land. He tells them over and over to remember. I think that's one reason why I enjoy holidays. It's a time for us to remember our history.  In the past I've posted stories and biographies of our pioneer ancestors, but this year I was drawn to my living cousins.
Arthur Smith - Age 25
Arthur Smith, age 25
This is Arthur Smith, and he came across the plains with his parents James and Emma in 1866. Several days ago I wondered how many descendants are here in the United States because of that choice. As I started looking, I realized it would be a gigantic task to figure that out, so I scaled it down to my great-grandmother, Ida Smith White, and her descendants. Even then, there are quite a few.

Last year one of my mom's cousins shared a list that she had compiled of all the grandchildren of Tom and Ida White. There are 41 cousins on that list. I'm in the next generation, so I've been trying to compile that list. I've currently accounted for 151, and it's possible there are a few more.

As I've scrolled through facebook finding cousins, I've been impressed with the joy that radiates through the posted pictures. The gospel certainly does bring great happiness into our lives. That's what Moses promised the Israelites, and the promise is still true today.